It’s fairly well known that Marge Samuels, wife of Bill Samuels Sr., came up with the name, the label and the now-iconic red-wax seal for the Maker’s Mark brand. But did you know she had to fight to keep the shape of the bottle? The craft bottle often came in broken and chipped in the early days. Bill Sr. wanted to switch to a more conventional bottle. Her reply: “You will figure it out.” And he did.
I didn’t know that until my friend, whiskey and wine writer and photographer Fred Minnick, shared it with me. He’s uncovered all sorts of fun stuff like this in his forthcoming book, “Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey.” The book drops in October, but if you want a taste of what’s to come, join us for “Women and Kentucky Bourbon: A History,” from 7-9 p.m. June 20 at the Filson Historical Society, 1310 S. Third St.
This Bourbon Women Association-sponsored event also features BW founder Peggy Noe Stevens, bourbon historian Mike Veach, authors Susan Reigler and Albert Schmid, bartender Joy Perrine and – oh, yes, how could I forget? – Wild Turkey master distiller Jimmy Russell and his charming wife, Joretta, who persuaded him to come to work for the distillery more than 50 years ago. The cost is $35 and you’ll need to register. Click here.